|"And they said to Him,|
We have only five loaves and two fish..."
One of the purposes of this blog is to stir up the gifts that God has bestowed on all of us and to use those gifts to bless others. That means getting creative about imagining how God might use the simplest little gifts He has given you and me.
The question becomes, "What do you have in your hand?" In other words, don't overlook the everyday "simple" talents He gifts us with each day. We tend to look for some unusually exceptional talent and, if we don't find one in our possession, we dismiss all that He has given us that can be the seeds of something magnificent in our lives. Much more common to most of us, it is the "simple" every day talents that God has rained down on us to be used for blessing others. To me, that is the picture of the feeding of the hungry when Jesus took the simple loaves and fishes of the little boy who had just come to hear Jesus and left transformed by the glory of a God who took what he had and multiplied it over and over and over again, beyond anything this little child could have ever imagined. Here is a modern day version of that miracle, in my mind. What a beautiful picture of Jesus accepting our "little" and multiplying it for blessing of unseen multitudes...
It is my privilege to introduce you to my dear friend, Lottie Krol, a two time cancer survivor, mom, grand-mom, and servant of the Lord. Her story is both simple and extraordinary, all at once. I hope it inspires you to open your mind to how you might be used of God to make a difference in someone's life. Don't say you have nothing to give. What do you have in your hand...?
A Crocheting Ministry
It all started with a hook and some yarn many years ago. As a child , my mother taught me and once I learned, my new talent lay on life's shelf for the next thirty years. Who knew that something I learned as a child would not only be a comfort to me later but also serve as a ministry to others.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. During my recovery, I pulled out that hook and some yarn and proceeded to make a huge blanket. It wasn't pretty nor had it any design. I simply kept on crocheting a blanket that seemed to go on forever. It was the ugliest thing you've ever seen, just like my cancer .
Once again, last year, the cancer came back and once again, I pulled out that hook and some yarn. Only this time, I wanted to make something pretty, useful and meaningful for someone. After watching a telethon for St.Jude's, tears still streaming down my cheeks, I wanted to brighten their day. To make for them something colorful and playful to take their minds off their illness and their pain. I shared my desires for these children on my blog.
A couple of weeks passed and then one Sunday, at Church , a family handed me a basket full of yarn to realize that dream for St. Jude's that I wrote about... to make slippers for them to wear while in the hospital. I would give myself a whole year to make as many as I could during that time. They stood there smiling up at me as if they handed me a million dollars. I could only stare in disbelief, somehow managing a decent reply. Inside, I was wrought with fear because I knew that I was called out of my comfort zone and actually had to do it. I've never made a crocheted slipper in my life. Once I learned, it became easy and soon there were 300 pairs.
While on vacation, my son decided to interview me for his radio program. Fear and doubt settled in once more. People will think this is stupid. I am an amateur crocheter and these slippers are simple. Besides, I'm not sure that St. Jude's will take them. What if they won't want them? All this will be for nothing and I will end up looking like a fool.
Every time I 'd feel doubt, God responded with something positive to propel me forward on this project. After the interview, yarn came pouring in from people I never met, from Church, from friends. I felt like God was telling me to stop complaining and start crocheting. He would provide what I'd need to finish the project.
Even now, almost 600 pairs later, I'm amazed at how far I've come with this project... a ministry that I started. I still struggle with doubt and insecurity because I don't want to fail. I pray constantly for strength and endurance to finish through. To think it all started with a hook and some yarn...
If you would like to contact Lottie, she writes a blog at: http://lottiekrol.blogspot.com
She writes about her journey through cancer to encourage and assist cancer victims and their families and friends.